Microsoft to Offer Inexpensive Windows 8 Pro Upgrade
Microsoft Windows users running XP, Vista or Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 when the new operating software becomes available, a date that has yet to be officially announced but which most observers and insiders believe will be sometime in October.
Of the two versions of Windows 8 Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) plans to ship, Windows 8 Pro is more feature-rich and eventually will be priced higher. Microsoft did not say why the sales promotion is confined only to Windows 8 Pro nor when it will start.
Looking to charge Windows 8 out of the gate, the vendor will offer the low-priced upgrade online at windows.com in a promotion slated to run through Jan. 31, 2013, about two to three months after the operating systems’ expected ship date, Microsoft said in a blog post.
Users can add Windows Media Center for free after upgrading, the company said.
“Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets,” wrote Brandon LeBlanc, a Microsoft spokesperson. For the duration of the promotion, a packaged Windows 8 DVD, made available at stores, will cost $69.99
“And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the ‘add features’ option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade,” he wrote.
Windows 7 users will be able to bring their Windows settings, personal files and applications in the upgrade. Vista users will be able to bring settings and personal files but not applications, and XP users only will be able to carry along their personal files, Microsoft said.
One online website called the Windows 8 Pro upgrade the “cheapest Windows upgrade ever,” favorably comparing it to current list-price upgrades to Windows 7 Pro, which run about four to five times the expected price of the Windows 8 promotion.
In a two-week, pre-order promotion in 2009, Microsoft offered users an upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium for $49.99 and to Windows 7 Pro for $99.99.
“We believe that your upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze by offering a faster experience, a single upgrade path, and compatibility from prior versions of Windows,” LeBlanc wrote.
For sure at that price.